KUALA LUMPUR: The superyacht Equanimity, which once belonged to fugitive businessman Jho Low, may soon have a new owner when the auction closes today.
According to a report by The Malaysian Insight, the sheriff of the High Court of Malaya will open the sealed bids and announce the winner at an undisclosed date.
The vessel, which was seized by Malaysian authorities on Aug 7, has been up for auction since Oct 29 in an effort by the Malaysian government to recoup some of the monies lost in the 1 Malaysia Development Bhd scandal.
Low, the alleged mastermind behind the scandal, was said to have bought the yacht for US$250mil using the misappropriated funds.
On Nov 21, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said that the government had spent an estimated RM3.5mil on the maintenance of the luxury yacht since taking possession of it in August.
"This includes cost of port services, maintenance costs and cost of hiring and upkeep of the ship's crew and legal fees," he said.
Possession of the Equanimity had previously been contested by its owner, Equanimity Cayman Ltd, which alleged in a statement that the seizure by the Malaysian government was "a direct violation of an existing Indonesian court decision and an order of the US court".
However, on Oct 19, the High Court declared the Malaysian government and 1MDB as the beneficiary owners when the company failed to represent itself in court to contest the government's claim.